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Free Wave Review

Free Wave

A well-balanced hazy with some bitter heft to it. My personal favorite of Athletic’s core lineup.


Tasting Notes


A little tropical fruit, pineapple. Shortbread.


Malty, a little sweet - in the vein of shortbread again. A little citrus (orange), more tropical fruits, kiwi or pineapple, melon. Grapefruit pith. Decent amount of bitterness. Not terribly resiny, but substantial bitterness for a hazy.


Moderate bitterness, but pleasant/not overpowering. Finishes like a classic New England style IPA.

By the Numbers


70 calories/12oz


<0.5% ABV (Non-Alcoholic)


Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Hops, Yeast

This is one of the better hazies on the market.

Athletic Free Wave is the juggernaut craft non-alcoholic beer brand’s flagship New England style IPA, and it’s my recommendation for one of the best widely-available NA Hazy IPAs. If you’re looking for a juicy, medium bodied hazy with some teeth (via some robust hop bitterness) that you can easily find throughout most of the US, then you’re in the right place.

What’s in the Can

Free wave opens with a pop of tropical fruit on the nose, specifically leaning towards pineapple. There’s also a pleasant thread of shortbread that runs into the body, and a light floral note. The medium body is buzzing with bitterness, and blends tropical fruit, citrus, and melon. That shortbread note persists underneath, supporting all of the fruit action above. Interestingly, the ingredients list omits the oats commonly found in some of Athletic’s other beers. This is most likely contributing to the body tasting less creamy than those other brews, while highlighting the fruit and hop notes.

The hop bitterness reverberates on the finish, leaning towards the stronger side of New England IPAs. You can find some resin from nose to finish, but it’s not a huge player. Overall, Free Wave is great for IPA fans that want both juicy fruit flavors and some punch from the hops.

Where Can I Buy Athletic Free Wave?

Free Wave can be found in bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and grocery stores (including Whole Foods and some Costcos) across the US. However, you will always find the largest selection on their website, and you can even mix and match a case to try other Athletic brews that you’ve read about on Bendy Straw. 

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